Benediction / Closing Reflection for the Fourth Annual Summit on Religious Freedom 2/12/2019
By James Coffin
I invite all of you to join me in a moment of reflection as we prepare to leave.
Tonight we’ve learned about the challenge and complexity of this thing we call religious freedom.
We’ve learned that what secures an advantage for those of one persuasion may create difficulties for those of a differing viewpoint.
We’ve had highlighted to need to make decisions that are based on universal principle and not just on momentary expediency for a particular individual or group in a given situation.
We’ve seen how—if we just take time to get acquainted and to listen respectfully—people with diverse perspectives can learn to deeply appreciate, and defend the rights of, those who hold an altogether different viewpoint.
As we leave tonight, our hope is that we will not just walk away and forget what we’ve learned, but that we will work diligently to ensure that religious freedom will be applied in such a way that it truly creates greater liberty and greater justice for all.
This is our hope. Thank you.